tv Capital News Today CSPAN January 12, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EST
become good friendsá: but we d agree on the ultimate ends. if we don't agree on the methods we agree what we want for our country and what's right and wrong. elected 2000, has it been that long? frequent speaker on our annual conference. my friend and our congressman. mike pence. [applause] >> i'm going to have to leave, did i tell you that? i apologize. >> glad to have you here. thank you. >> well, thank you mayor. i want to thank those who started us off on the right foot spiritually today. i came in, rushing, through the snow from fort wayne. thanks for getting us started on the right foot and to - i'mkç thinking that's ellis 2 point 0 that did the pledge for us.
thank you for the service of this mayor and his fine son to this community. i would echo the esteem and the friendship - mr. mayor. thank you for making us so welcome here. we appreciate your leadership in the community every day. welcome all. this is our first town hall meeting in bluffton this year. - that i'm very grateful to the die the hard people of wells country and in particularly those that drove some distance, that made an effort to the be here today through in clement weather. i want to apologize for my tardiness. i'm particularly impressed at the size and dimensioned of the crowd given the difficulty we're facing on the roads today. if this is your first town hall meeting, let me welcome you.
as some of you received in the mail, we sent out a report and throughout my nine years we've done town hallsen a regular basis. my wife says they're my anecdoáe to a tomic fever. she means things that sound like a good idea in washing to bedc you come home, get a town hall meeting and get at tuesday adjustment. only two rules for town hall meeting. it's especially true today since we're joined by the folks at c-span that will be broadcasting this town hall meeting nationally in the coming kays. first rule is i appreciate if you call me, mike. hoosiers were wired for ceremony but don't. if you would call me mike and i'd appreciate if you can share with me your first name so i can
share with you personally if i don't like your comment i'll need your social security and current address. second rule s don't feel you hp+e to end your statement with a question mark. i am here to answer questions you have and share a few thoughts, but most importantly i'm here to listen. it is a tradition in this district we start the year listening and now more than ever i think it's important that washington d.c. listen to the american people and their priority and so please feel free just to make a comment. don't be self-conscious about the additional press that's here. we'll get you a microphone and we'll look forward to your remarks. and if there's a question in there, we'll take our best shot at it. let me open with a couple of remarks on an issue that's breaking as we speak across the country. and despite the fact that i just returned to an or from a trip to afghanistan and i'm happy to
elaborate on what i saw and there's a reporá coming out today the about the incident that took mace on christmas day in detroit, i'd like to focus on healthcare reform and legislation that's moving behind closed doors on capitol hill as we speak today. first let me say emphatically and i know i speak on behalf, not only of my other republican colleagues in indiana but those throughout the congress. we need healthcare in this country that lowers the cost of health insurance and healthcare for the american people in the long-term. in action is not an option. while i believe that we should scrap the current healthcare bill that's being cobbled together in the back hall ways of capitol hill, i think the day after we scrap this bill we should go right back to work and to develop the kind of solutions that will lift the burden of the rising cost of health insurance
premiums off small business owners and family farmers. as i stand here and express opposition and concern about the healthcare reform being developed, please don't misunderstand that your congress man believes that we ought to be dealing with the rising cost of health insurance in this country and we ought to be dealing with it boldly. the alternative we have offered covered a few thing. number one, we would permit all-americans to purchase healthcare across state lines. to be able to purchase health insurance the way we do car insurance. across the crown try and a law true competition marketplace to develop. for family farmer and small businesses. we believe the time has come for medical malpractice and reform and reasonable caps on punitive damages the cost of defensive medicine and cost of run away
lawsuits in medical malpractice cases around the country is presented a extraordinary burden on insurance rate payers and we need to take many of the sensible limits that we've had on the books in indiana since the 70's and make them nation wide. the savings that the federal government will receive with reasonable limits on malpractice claims in this country could be used to strengthen the current funds in every state, including ours that provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. i know that my wife, i loa lost job years ago when my wife was pregnant with our third. to the state fund. the federal government could take the money from medical malpractice reform and strengthen those. i believe those the three
approaches are sensible, incremental approaches that focus on lowering cost of health insurance for americans and healthcare in long-term and americans struggling with lag of coverage for pre-existing conditions. near as we know, this bill does not accomplish those things in the least in fact, legislation is moved lieu the house and senate, according to congressional budget office would raise healthcare premiums for struggling middle class families. it's extraordinary. the rising cost of health premiums is crushing the back of small business owners and family farmers. farmers.o congressional budget office, healthcare premiums for middle class families, premium increases could be as much as 300 year for individuals and $2100 for
families. it's extraordinaire. the cure is worse than the disease for individual policy holders and we've seen studies from industry sources even health insurance companies here that confirm the same. this is the congressional budget office. this is not an interest group of an industry void. also the legislation moving through the congress includes nearly 4 hundred billion dollars in tax increase. that's correct number of what passed united states senate. the number may go higher, we simply don't know. more on that in the moment. one of my democrat colleagues spoke out in a post bill in the house of representatives, i quoted. during the florida debate. he said the last thing you do in a recession is raise taxes and that's what this bill does. in the midst of the worse recession in 25 years just makes no sense. and yet, it's at the very center
of this bill. and millions of americans will actually also lose the health insurance that they currently have. if this bill were to become law. one of the assurances the president has given the american people is if you like the insurance you have you can keep it. well, apparently administration wasn't talking about medicare advantage when they referred that. the bills in the house and senate include massive cuts in the medicare advantage program. and so people that have med can care advantage have vin vative new private insurance available for million office seniors and me digap policy. but also recognizing that the business of creating the massive new government run health insurance exchanges. and then allowing businesses to
not offer health insurance if they just pay an 8 percent tax to the federal government will create an incentive where you'll see by some estimate maybe 100,000,000 americans could lose insurance through they're employers. not because the government would make them drop they're insurance you understand? you know, i think i remember the president saying one time, nothing in this bill requires you to give up your insurance. - or you know give up insurance you have through your employer but respectfully as i've said, it's hard to keep the healthcare insurance you have at the place of employment if your employer cancels it. and in this tough economy and i don't have to tell mruf on blu about the tough economy bits õtough all over. right now most businesses are
paying between 12-14% of payroll in health insurance expenses. if federal government kols and says we're going to require you to cover health insurance and you say, we do and they say if you cancel and just pay us 8% and send people to the government run exchanges, you know, what small business in this difficult economy would be blameed if they sat down and said, hook, we love you,gu love having you here, but we not to keep the lights on and doorsno @
u have two children and this healthcare debate has effected me and my family profoundly. the thought of the government interrupting our lives further is awful. i have a statement here. how can healthcare legislation ultimately be imposed against the will of the american people when it's clearly unconstitutionle. there will be heavy levys for those that pre fuse to pay. it's my clear understanding that they can take my family's home. my question to you, mike, is where does the government get off trying impose such an unconstitutional task when it's blatantly clear there cannot be, sorry guys, cannot be legal, writ of habeas corpus to the
american people that constitutionally has these holdings for them to answer us why? and it deeply pains me to think that officials in the government can ultimately amend the constitution so that the american people can be charged and sent to prison or do they plan to charge us with a federal crime. >> amber, thank you. thanks for calling me, mike, by the way. appreciate that. >> i appreciate you and we pray for you. >> thank you. we rely on that. let me also commend you. not a point i raised but you're aware of it's a citizen, and that is, an issue that hasn't gotten that much attention publically. one of the centerpieces of the bill moving through the senate is a mandate that every american purchase healthcare insurance which is unprecedented american history and i believe it is
unconstitutional. and would be immediately challenge thissed the federal courts in the president were to sign this bill into law. why do i think that? it is because of simple notions that, this legislation would be the first time in american history that your federal government found that it had the power to order you to enter into a contract for goods and services. people would be quick to say, wait a minute they've to purchase health insurance if i have a car. right. but federal government doesn't require you to buy a car, yet. we are in the car business now - so [laughs] don't give them any ideas. but they don't require you to buy a car if you get a car you have an obligation to be responsible on the road. this is by virtue of the fact so
well taken, your either born an american citizen or you become an american citizen that you have an obligation to spend several thousands dollars a year whether or not you need it on health insurance. and i have to tell you something, number one, do believe amber notwithstanding, i believe most americans in the midst of all the debate over this have not focused obstacle that issue very much but it's there and real. number two, my 18 year old son says all of his liberal high school friends that come and give him a hard time every time they see me on television he brings up this mandate to them and they're stunned. he said dad, none of them have an idea when they get out of college they'll have to purchase health insurance whether they want to or not. mike, you want to spend that 300, sorry y you have to buy
health insurance. there's another thing too, amber, that's the whole question of equal protection clause of the constitution. i just don't see where in the constitution, if permits a senator from nebraska and citizens of nebraska to get a better deal in medicaid. >> it's horrible! it's horrible. >> that has lots of problems but you put your finger on the best one. >> they didn't think they could push it through or if they didn't think it could be federally challenged, why bother? if it's a plan to take it to the supreme court then why even do it? >> fair question. thank you, amber. >> good afternoon i'm jennifer. mike, first of all thank you so much for your congressional nomination for my doubt er to attend the united states
military academy. she's an amazing young woman. thank you. on a professional note i am a respirator therapist and have been for the last 25 years. i want to spend the healthcare reform just a bit. and ask that's we talk about healthcare reform, i think medicare also needs to be looked at. we talk a lot about the medicare cuts and i think what a lot of people don't understand is when the medicare bills were written, x-amount of decades ago, many of the healthcare opportunities that we currently have are not evenwo# therefore costing patients hundreds of millions of dollars and costing the united states government hundreds of millions of dollars. because i'm a respirator therapist i'll speak directly to that profession. example, we all know that lung
disease is the fourth leading cause of all,drg medical diagnosis but when you look at the reimbursement of medicare on those types of patient as respiratory therapist cannot provide care to home care patients or nursing home patients because our services are not reimbursed. only the services of a physician or nurse. i've been a therapist for 25 years and if i go teach a smoking sensation class to a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient, i'm not reimbursed by medicare. not only an issue of medicare spending and cuts but yet, where there are cost saving idea they are wiped out completely because they, if you look at assisted
living medicare will pay for nursing homes and nurses but not for assisted living but you would have billions that would help by the cost of reimbursement. so we also need to look at things like how can we make the system more efficient and unfortunately, there's a lot of organizations and professions, mine, respiratory therapy did not even exist when the medicare bill where is writ zone we don't show up there. when you look at the disease processes and the millions of dollars spent on the lung disease world and unfortunately we're aç population in the sta of indiana of smokers and i have some amazing numbers of how many people in indiana suffer from lung disease and can't get reimburse meant or it's denied. >> it's a great point. in particularly from someone in the healthcare industry. i really like your focus on -
you know i don't think the american people want a healthcare plan as much as they want a healthy america plan. i think we'd like to encourage the incentives in the tax code and reforms in the systemç to encourage people to live healthier lives and like you've seen a number of corporations around the country that have begun to tie their premiums to employees based on have you hit your goal weight? i have a goal weight this year? did you quit smoking? have you been exercising on a regular basis and that lowers your premium. your creating an insensitive foç personal wellness butçw3 you'r talking about the current systems that don't invest in the things that encourageçw3 healt liveq sng çfá we would be able to cost save money for. a mere respiratory therapist
work in a nursing home to help prevent pnemonia. the millions of dollars that would save medicare because the nurses are busy doing nursing things. >> preventative medicine issue is powerful and i'd love to hear more and maybe get you to pencil and paper. let me say to you that what your hearing someone struggling within the current medicare system that for some of you that have hair the same color of mine already know that medicare does then't cover a lot. the overwhelming majority of people feel the need for med gap policy. another centerpiece of the bill is 500 billion dollars in proposed cuts in medicare. now, everybody in washington d.c. says that and then they push an elbow because they know they're not going to do it, just
so you understand people that say this bill will save money in the deficit, they're saying with a straight face that they're going to cut a half a trillion dollars out of a woefully under funded program system. >> absolutely. but there are best practices not being used or looked at so i have a request if you would please contact mike ross who has actually written house bill 1007 and co-sponsor what this bill is to allow respiratory therapist to be at least reimbursed to deal with at least part of that. >> mike a good friend of mine from arkansas and i'll talk to him. thank you. >> thank you. >> good afternoon congressman. i'm rick, and my problem is with the healthcare. i'm lucky i'm standing here now. our family just experienceed a
tremendous problem. my brother is lucky to be a live. i finally convinced him to go to the hospital with me and it was machines keeping him a live. he would not go to a doctor because he could about ford healthed care for. 5.25% years he could but with it going up so much he couldn't no more. with now over six digit figures is a hardship on our family. i hear you talk, think you're a good guy congressman but i tell you i think we do a little double talking here. you guys that white house for eight years and congress in the senate for six and had the opportunity to resolve a lot of healthcare issues and pass reform healthcare and now we have another party trying and you guys are partying no. they've a problem with that when my brother is in critical condition fighting for his life and he's lucky to be a live now. when we talk about the healthcare, just hear just a few
years ago when i worked here, 200 people lost their jobs and that company closed the doors and filed bankruptcy. everyone of us got nailed on bankruptcy. i got naild for 5,000 dollars because my wife was pregnant. if we could have healthcare to pick up pre-existing i could haved got it. i could have got something to assist my brother. now my family is a hardship. we have a serious problem with healthcare and i wish all you guys in washington would sit down and get your heads together instead of fighting so much. thank you. >> thank you, and number one i'm glad you got your b but thee to the hospital. god bless him. i understand the head knocks. i want to concede the
republicans didn't take this on when they were in charge and didn't deal with it. they did a number of things i didn't agree with beginning doubling the national debt in the first six years that i strongly apposeed my own party. but i want to assure you the party of no, thing, it's a catchy phrase and a catchy label but if you go to gop.gov you can read in statutory language the language that republicans have offered a bill to deal with pre-existing conditioning and lowering the cost of healthcare and would allow families like yours to look all over the country to meet their needs during times of transition or employment of buying across state lines so. i take your point. looking in the past the review mirror there's plenty of blame
to go around but that's no excuse for the heavy-handed back door approach that's going on right now. we may have a moderate agreement on that. i agree strongly on that. next? >> congressman mike, glad to have you here today. >> thank you. >> i'm joseph lamar. i retired from the military and i don't have a problem with the healthcare because we're covered pretty well on that. what i was wondering today is if there's, if there could be any litigation brought against these senators and representatives that have sold they're souls and constituents and our country down the drain on this program, that's going on now, i just wondered if there's anything that can be done about that? >> well, there's something in
november that can be done about that. [applause]. but let me also say, before that, long before that, i'm somebody and maybe, maybe i'm just hard headed and i've been accuse offed worse, all right. but i don't think this thing is over. i don't think this thing is over by a long-shot. the more the american people have looked at this government take over of healthcare that's being force shrewd the congress, the less they like it and i'm reminded maginally, i can say this to someone that's worn the uniform of the united states reminds of a story alexander hamilton told giving some french diplomat a tour. the guy looks down on the floor of the house of representatives and it was loud and obnoxious and he sniffed that it was a little unruly down there.
and pacific bank represently alexander hamilton said here sir, the people government. i believe that's still true. so turn out on a bad weather day like today and what we've seen since last summer at town hall meetings and floods of e-mails and telephone calls if people continue to let their voices be heard we can sit the reset button and work together to build reforms that'll make sense for the american people and future generations. i'm not giving up on being able to stop this bill by a long-shot but at the end of the day, the american people, if they're not heard between now and november they'll be heard in november i guarantee. >> m mike, this is cindy. i think we seem to be in a rush to do something that's been out of control for a long time and we want to push this through to
say we got it done in the first term of president barack obama and i think we need to stop. look at it, open a light, look at it in room with everybody at the table, there seems to be an issue of we were talking about by par tannism. we find a president barack obama meeting in private chambers with democratic colleagues in the house and senate to discuss issues without the representation of the gop party as well. i think that's part of the problem. it's not bipartisan so can we slow down, put the bill in open light and talk about it openly and fair i and look at the real e issues. it's interesting. i'll get to a question here in just a minute. we do have, the announcement of resignation of two significant senior senators i believe who
are re-assigning. i don't know the nature mind that and i don't take a lot of stock in the internet stuff i see around but the one that surprises and concerns me is apparently our head of the representatives. nancy pelosi has purchased a new airplane where by she is going to fly from washington to california from friday, thursday, monday to whatever spending significant dollars of the united states government's money to be transported so she doesn't have fly commercially as i'm assuming you do and a lot of others do. i don't know what her deal is but she's not any better than you and i. she put hearse slacks and skirts on the same way as rest and i think she might be amazed what she would hear toen plane with
everybody else. that's my comment with the exclamation but i guess my question is what's the hurry? i know we need reform but what's the hurry. you may not be able to answer that. >> well, number one, um... i'll leave you comments about the speaker and her travel. i'll leave it there. let me speak to - i think you really asked the right question and i don't think it's a conservative or liberal question. interesting thing that's happened the last month is how many liberals in this country, art dean among them have come out and a posted this bill. and this is an issue, and i go back to the gentleman that spoke earlier. who said when republicans were in charge they didn't get this done. absolutely right. point taken.
but lut me emphasize again. this is an issue that a lot of people talk about 1/6 of the economy. this is not going to just effect that. it'll effect 100 percent of the american people. at the most precious and vulnerable moment in the life of your family, you're going to - the policies and decisions made here will bear upon the life of your spouse, children and grandchildren and it's just number one, not the thing you ought to hurry, period. not the thing - if i can say, also i believe it's just wrong and it's really - against any historical precedent for a legislation to try to do this on a strictly partisan basis. when medicare passs in the 1960's a lot of republicans opposed it. pretty chose to half in the house and senate voted for it.
okay? i mean you can look up the exact numbers and current me but it was a lot. same thing with social security. back in the 1930's, a large number of republicans in the house and senate voted for it. when those two bills b passed they were a bipartisan process. i'm not commenting on the consensus just saying that was the process. the idea you pass a bill of this magnitude that bears upon the lives of every american for generations to come on strictly party lines is is unconscionable. the fact that they cannot, bring forward any republican su part is of anybody. one in the house. - voted for it, if memory serves, none in the senate. i think that ought to be a flashing red light in the
democratic majority and the marylm an administrations eye saying this isn't it. i want to a firm that. what's the hurry. driven by political agenda or belief there won't be 60 votes in the senate, that would be pure speculation on my part, but i do believe it's important to reflect on how significant the legislation is and why the process of achieving some consensus is a protection of the american people and always has been. we've gone from a single payer debate to a single party debate and that ought not be the way you build legislation that deals with every american for the next century or more. let me recognize this gentleman, but also, if there are topics
off healthcare you'd like to speak to, please feel free. i'm happy to reflect on them. sir? >> glad your here, mike. steve. i'm the local representative for the tea party movement i got involved in. i'm going to switch to independent business which is what i'm in. seems like we have a lot of issues but you talk about the constitution getting back to the principal of freedoms and liberties, but so much of the stuff coming out of washington seems to be in fringing on freedom and liberty as far as a businessman, to run, rise to my own efforts i'm burdened with so many other things that effect my productivity. - and i commend you for showing up today. we've inviteed the other two senators to the other meetings
and did not have the courtesy to even show up. i want to thank you for that. [applause]. >> i guess, the thing i wonder up there, isn't there anything we can do to get back to the foundation of the constitution and quit infringing on the rights and liberty? >> well, steve, it's steve right? >> yeah. >> let me thank you for your kind words and tell you, number two, you're doing it. your doing it. i know washington likes to sneer at tea party movement. i had the great privilege of addressing one in my hometown at donner park. this spring. i was - had the profound privilege to address a national tea party on september 12th. i know the "new york times" said there were only a couple of thousand people there.
[applause]. and fox news channel reported a billion. but - the truth is there were maybe you were among them. by my lights were between half a million and a million in washington d.c. that set aside they're productive lives to take a stand for freedom and liberty and limited government and personal and fiscal responsibility and it was inspire together me. that's why i said since i got off the plane from afghanistan and started my year, i arrived at 2010 terribly encouraged. not by washington d.c., heavens no. but i'm terribly encouraged by men and women like yourself who have businesses to run, families to raise. lives to live but you have said, i'm going to become involved to see a crowd like this on snowy day and to see the hundred here's in bluffton the last time we were here.
to read my e-mails from all over the country and hear how many letters begin with i'm never been involved before but - i had a gentlemen yesterday say let me tell you why i put on a uniform and walked into harm's way for this country and it was for freedom. not to have a government that would take care of me. for a government to create and preserve the conditions so i could take care of myself. [applause] >> keep doing what you're doing is my answer. it's making an enormous difference and i commend you for it. american citizenship at it's best. yes, sir? >> good afternoon. my name is jerry. i want to tell you that my wife and i tried to pray for you every day. >> thank you, jerry. >> my question and comment is
in regards to american citizens on both sides of the age spectrum, wondering about the current proposals in consideration right now either from the house or the senate in regards to healthcare reform and how that would effect unborn children or unborn citizens and on the other side of the spectrum how it might effect the aged population in terms of i don't know, provisions that might preclude medical assistance and some type of degenerative condition and could they use private funds to purchase treatment options if they are tied into a government proposal? you know what i'm saying, i've heard that might be the case and i would like to know that. i have some aging parents and
wondering about what your thoughts are on that? >> well, skre ri, number one, thank you for your prayers. i don't take such statements lightly. my wife and i rely on prayer support and we're grateful. the - with regard to the issue of life, this is again, i use some pretty strong language about how - i think it is apalling negotiations on healthcare legislation are taking place mind closed doors right now. there are major issues being resolved. chief among them is how we're going to deal with taxpayer support for elected abortion in this country. right now the house bill thanks to bipartisan cooperation about 60 democrats in every house republican got mind and stood firm for the stupak fifth
amendment. this was one that took the historical restrictions of the hi.ed amendment on the books for a generation, and essentially it said that no taxpayer dollars could ever be used to su part is or promote abortion at home and a broad except in cases of rape or in the case of threatened life of the mother. democrat named bart stupak stood firm against his own speaker and leadership and fought and got that amendments passed and i a suit him for it. in the senate, there was a less successful result. i believe it was senator nelson who was the hold out on the right to life issue. and he - if memory serves ended up agreeing to language that quite frankly, leaders and
pro-life community and scholar and informed lens or thes know the lamb gauge does not protect pro-life taxpayers from seeing they're dollars support a system that could support elected abortion. they twist it and say no, it'll come from premiums but you will have a government run exchanges and one of the health insurance plans will be mandated to cover elective abortions. the only protection pro-life taxpayers have is stupak language being in the bill. right now administration apposes that language. senate took a different attack and a posted that language. i'd love to tell you how that debate is going but i don't have any idea. it's happening behind closed doors. representatives of the
administration in congress and i heard a rumor driving from fort wayne that the bill maybe hatched the next couple of days so i don't know. we're waiting to see. but i will say, that i would hope, and i may even pray that all 60 of the democrats that voted for the stupak amendment will stand for life and vote against this bill if the stupak language is not in it. that's only protection we have. on the other side, the begin of life issues. i'm pro-life and i don't apologize for it. end of life issues has been contentious issue. the young lady that stood up for healthcare, jennifer, still here. jennifer is talking about working in a system full-time in a system with skrars resources. their proposal at the very minimum, expands the obligations
of the government in public systems. okay? greatly expands the government's role the. we're running record deficits right now. congress will raise the debt ceiling by another trillion and more to keep our bills going so we can borrow more money from china to fund government today. and i'm - all i can say to you on the subject of end of life issues and the compare s issues the reason you don't want the government anymore involved in the beginning or end of lives as possible is government deals in scarce resources. every day congress sits down and picks winners and loses we don't cover this and we do that. that's what the allocation of public resources is all about. so it's in conceivable to me as you expand the federal
government's role in the healthcare economy to the sense it's discussed today, that will not ultimately bear upon the availability of treatments and resources. to particularly to senior citizens in this country and to be candid with you and president was never more candid than on the abc town hall meeting, but late in the night they had a town hall meeting in the white house months ago and he the p president said you may be 90 years old and you may be sick and we may need you to take a pill. the government is in the business of allocating scarce resources. i think we ought to think long and hard before expanding it in those healthcare decisions for that reason. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> yes, sir?
>> good afternoon. congressman, mike. i appreciate your service to our country. and couple of comments. you talked about - things you would like to push for after defeating the healthcare travesty but i didn't hear you mention health savings accounts and - i have a health savings account and if i'm healthy for a few years that builds up so if i lose my job i can afford to buy insurance and for the catastrophic things they've insurance for that. the other comment is we could get rid of the crooked politicians in november. are you concerned that right now, a corn is in charge of the census taking and how concerns are you whenever they have been indicted for the last election? proud and two college students
that went into three different places and got acorn to tell them how to start an illegal whore house basically with immigrants. why are we federally funding a corn after that at this point? >> i've been battling the so-called - affording housing slush fund for years. i was apposed to acorn before it was cool. check my record. i'm very pleased because of the recent - what was really outstanding journalism but the two young college students that went in and revealed to the country an aspect of the character of a number of these organizations, that congress voting overwhelmingly to deny funding to acorn. that's now the subject of litigation. it's bottled up in the process. can i get you a letter and tell you the status of that but we're
in the process of - i just don't - i believe acorn is an entirely discredited organization that in many jurisdictions is short of criminal enterprise and shouldn't get a dime of federal money. [applause]. let me talk about health savings accounts because i love you referencing that and i only left it out of the proposal. it's in there at gop.gov on the intervet. but fair warning, if this the bill passes health savings accounts pretty much go away. they do not in the healthcare exchanges, they mandate what health insurance companies have to cover. they mandate deductible amounts. health savings accounts are built on a high deductible account you create or your employer or you encourage you as
an incentive to stay healthy. one of the great incentive ideas if this government take over takes effect not only does medicare advantage go away, but seniors that like ceramic can kiss that goodbye but health savings accounts also are essentially prohibited and would go away accordingly. you would allowed to go to the healthcare exchange and purchase one of a series of quasi private health insurance plans. they're private companies but what is covered is all dictated guy federal government so it would do away with health insurance plans like you have with yours. thank you. yes? >> i'm ellen. thank you. thank you for standing between us and what washington wants to
do to us. want to make us a subject people in so many ways economic and moral. many ways. especially thank you for standing in the gap for the unborn children and their mothers and also for your work to keep our freedom of speech, which if washington has it's way, will be altered. thank you. >> ellen, thank you for your encouragement and you mentioned the freedom of speech issue. it's a passion of mine. i've coauthored legislation with senator lieuinger that's now passed house and judiciary committee that would protect a reporters right. i believe in a free and independent press and i authored legislation that would prevent this or any other president from bringing back the fairness
doctrine to the fairness communications commission. [applause]. it's - people forget the editorial page is much apart of the newspaper as front page. as i've been a champion of the news gathering process. news reporting but also, you know what you hear on talk radio and i love most of it and i used to be in that business. but that's editorial comment and it's protected by the first amendment. there are forces in washington d.c. that - center for american progress produced a report talking about the structural imbhans of american talk radio. people talking about bringing back some version of the fairness doctrine. the only people that out to decide what's on the radio dial in fort wayne and bluffton and indiana and america are the people that turn the knobs on
the dial. period. i'll fight for that. thanks so much. yes, sir? >> i'm michael. you used word offended talking about the healthcare legislation. that's not the word i would use. i would use the word in fur rated. i'm a 20 year vet of the united states military. i've served overseas. i've seen the berlin wall and been in countries like france, britain and others that are socialized. i understand what it means to live under a system of government like that. and what infuriates me the most is i don't see leadership in washington d.c. telling the american people that there is an a big difference between a country that is founded on freedom and liberty and one that is ruled by socialism and communism. i see things going on right now,
right now that 20 years ago, i could not ever believe that i would be here seeing today. and it just absolutely infuriates me. mike, i appreciate what you do, but we've got to see some leadership in washington d.c. and i'm not talking about going back just to the election of this president i'm talking about going back for 50-60 years. it's been a long time since we've seen leadership in washington. we had a great man named ronald reagan who i was proud to call him my commander and chief. i just want to know, where's that leadership going to come from? you're right there's an election in 2010 and i would ask you go back and tell ther and c and michael steel there's a lot of people out here who were republicans. they may not be able to count on
us this time because we are tired. [applause] >> thank you michael. thanks for your service to the country and it obviously continues today. appreciate your words, sir. >> mike, i want to thank you for being a congressman and stuck to your values not being swayed by the politicians in washington. i have two comments. you said you been to afghanistan. i know congressman saider has changed his view over the troop surge and want to know if you think there's enough troops to do the right job over there and the second is, general mcchrystal just came out with a comment that he wants less ground - air to ground support for our troops because of collateral damage and that worries me, it puts our troops in more of harm's way.
and how can they tell a taliban from a civilian over there? >> is it loni? man mante? let me say, i left the day after christmas. i - went to afghanistan with a bipartisan group. four democrats and four republicans. spend a day with kabul and met with general mcchrystal. lot of our senior team in the country. spend 90 minutes with president karzai and most importantly we got out to a agaabad valley and met with the team on the ground there. i told the president in february and i kept my word to him, that if he would give our soldiers
the resources they needed to get the job done and come home safe he'd have our support. i expressed the night of the president's west point address concern about the timetable of withdrawal. july of 2011 beginning withdrawal. i don't think it makes sense on a battlefield to tell the enemy when you're going to stop fighting. [applause]. so - i'm - i was pleaseed the president called for reinforcements but i wanted to ask tough questions. what i can report to you as general mcchrystal actually answers to people like me but i answer to people like you so i'll report to you, that i'm told that they have the resources and personnel in the decision that the president has made to get the job done. um... - if they have the time to
do it. that's issue. i talked to the afghan leaders and rank and file military afghan militants in the valley and they said look, taliban has been using that 2011 announce deadline for recruits. they said, see? they're leaving, we're winning. i don't mind, like michael you have other soldiers that have spoken but soldiers always have deadlines. they never do anything without a deadline but you don't publish it. that's point. would i like your soldiers to move out of afghanistan by 2011? you bet. but we need to move out on victory and with the enemy having been completely defeated and afghan army able to stand up and defend themselves and the only other issue is here we have to have a credible government if cab all and we quite frankly,
this bipartisan delegation really locked arms and sent a deaf energying message to karzai that the upcoming parliament elections cannot be the fiasco the presidential election where is last fall. we urge him to delay the parliament elections. pass major election reform so that his people and people of the wider community in the world would recognize that they had a national legislation that was truly and fairly and openly elected. . .no carrierringconnect 2400 c1
i want to give the president credit where credit is due. he said it would make things worse, but he was wrong. in politics you could have understood in a political context if he said, i am this way, but he did not. he took time and made a decision, and those people on the ground i trust. we need to pray for it. we need to make sure they have their resources taken care of, but they have the time, and i think they have the talent and resources. thank you for asking.
we have time for about 10 more minutes, so it is not too long of a cute. yes, sir? >> i am greg. i would like to comment on amber. she brought of constitutionality. i called senator bai's office phone number of times. i asked him how he could possibly support a bill like this. i did get a reply about half and trade, so somebody got their wires crash, -- wires crossed. i want to point out his accessibility. i would think after a person has called 20 times or 25 times he would it please get their response from him.
the other point i want to make is i run a small business, and there is no possible way making a contract to build house on this order. senator reid comes out with this -- i would not even call it a health care bill. 2000 pages -- who knows thelma the senator says, i could not read it because i could not understand it even if i did read it, and places like c-span do not fit the fund that can last that all over the airwaves -- that tells me something is structurally incorrect in the whole process i am of average intelligence, and there is no way i could read a 2000-page bill and begin to comprehend it in any way, so as far as i am
concerned, anything before congress that is more than and easily readable phil should be faked out now and done away with, and the people who do vote for it should have to stand up before me and the american people and left us in the eye and say, i have read and understand the bill currently before congress. [applause] >> i love your analysis that you could not build a house with a carpenter design. >> my contracts are 16 pages long. >> i love your analogy. i may well take it back to the florida congress. the only difference between what you do and what congress is doing is you're building a
structure for one family to live in. we are building a structure that every american family is going to have to live and for generations, and we are doing it without a plan. that is almost a parable you laid out. it is really inspiring. that is how it happened. i have to tell you, whether it was the massive stimulus bill -- in this congress, when you draft a bill that is 700, 1200 pages long, the day before it is going to be voted on, nobody read the bill. the fact that this bill is being cobbled together behind closed doors by a handful of leaders of one party in the house, the senate, the white house, and lobbyists means it is
going to be sprung on us again with a lot of things in the margins, and they are going to vote on it again. it is infuriating. i really believe in an appropriations bill that is lengthy and include lots of different things. i do not know every member of congress has to read every line. you can trust your staff to do it, but any bill of this magnitude -- every member of congress ought to be required to read the bill. i do not think it is unreasonable, but can i say, i would be almost as happy if they just read the constitution of the united states of america little more. [applause] it is shorter trigger >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> i love your analogy.
>> i have a concern with acorn and the fact disks back doorstep of and behind closed doors -- can you show it -- assure us in november we will have a free election? i cannot believe the election we just had was absolutely free. he was not asked to produce a birth certificate. she went in and shut off the electricity so people could vote on something. i am concerned they are being so blatant about all of this stuff. they cannot think we won't try to vote the mob in november -- vote them out in november furious -- in november.
>> i appreciate your concern about acorn. we have made great strides in exposing the organization. we still have a long way to go. i still believe that in every jurisdiction of this country with some individual exceptions but we know how to do the elections during give this is not a banana republic. there are men and women in both
parties to understand if you do not have valid integrity you do not have democracy, so i want to encourage you in that regard. i believe the will of the people is going to be registered in the elections. we have time for one more, and we will wrap up. i am going to visit with you and be on the road close to 4:00. >> i guess they save the best for last. i have a comment i want to say. dari appreciate the work you do and would like to know if there is any legislation but says the bill cannot be changed or amended. is that constitutional? where does the stand? >> you are talking about the language of legislation?
>> right, where nothing can be changed, and i think that this kind of scary. >> when congress may not find another congress. if people's representatives want to do something different, they can do it kerrigan are have read reports about this. let me say there is a practical part of this. i believe that while there would be much that could be done, there would be legal challenges. if republicans took the house in 2010 and came back into power,
much that could be done. there is much that would be hard to undo. the truth is the reason this bill passed tuesday stopped now is because once you've set of these exchanges, once businesses began canceling their health insurance for employees, and these have of premium support and everybody is starting to be frustrated because scarce federal resources cannot go into this, i think it puts you on a pathway for socialized medicine. there is some point where the markets become irreversible, that is why i refuse to give of this fight. we have got to stop this bill now. future congresses can make changes in the health care system, but if 100 million americans lose the health
insurance they have through their employer and find themselves in these exchanges, congress cannot pass a law that makes your employer offers of insurance again. do you follow me on that? once the genie gets out of the bottle here -- not everyone in congress is a left-wing liberal. a lot of them are. i believe they know this system will set into motion a process, and it will set us on a fast way towards social as medicine. barney frank said -- they said why aren't you supporting a single payer health care like canada?
he said, this would be the fastest way to get it. i am paraphrasing. i think they know this. yes, there are changes we can make, and we will make them. we will fight to repeal every aspect of it and pass legislation that will lower the cost of health insurance, deal with runaway lawsuits and pre- existing conditions, but my concern is one fifth shift is the wants of of the harbor, it is massive the government's takeover of health care, then it would be awfully hard to turn the factory and ronald reagan said the closest thing to eternal life is the federal program common so my point to each of you who share -- the federal program, so my point to each of you who share my view --
and maybe some of you do not share my view. now i encourage you to get your votes be heard. take a phone. make that 20-second call to our junior senator. call members of the house and senate. send an e-mail. tell your employees to do likewise. i really believe if we will let our voice be heard we can stop this bill and immediately go to work on health care reform. it will be in the long term interest of the american people it may not have everything that i like, but i believe the responsibility of incremental health care reform is there, but we have to stop this first area i want to thank you for your question. >> i would like to make one comment and thank c-span for being here. why do we have closed doors? as long as this debate is going
on, the democrats choose not to allow open debate on the subject. thank you. >> let me thank you for your comments. i thank you all for your time. i know we started a bit late, but i wanted to give it the full hour. let me say the programs are not just notes. if you look on the back, you will see our web address. all these local addresses. i am a really easy guide to reach if i work for you because i read all my mail, and i read all my a female. -- all my e-mail. i do not read all of it. anything that comes from the 19 counties i represent, you can
reach me. i welcome it. i hope you will avail yourself of it, and let me just say, i really believe these are difficult times. you have got challenges abroad from afghanistan, iraq. we have got threats coming close to home and hitting home. we have got the worst economy in 25 years. we have a massive expansion of government spending under both political parties. we have this round and era of government spending, and i know it is easy to give way to despair, easy to give way to frustration, but i encourage you to do otherwise, because i want you to know, i started my career
as a democrat and have been in office nine years as a republican. never in mind 30 years of government have lysine the american people more informed giving voice to their values more effectively than i have in the last 12 months. you should be encouraged by it. i am absolutely convinced every time the american people have stood up and demanded washington, d.c., start being every bit as good as they are, washington has followed suit. i know we are going to get its right. thank you, and god bless you. [applause] i appreciate it. great common. >> thank you.
thank you for your time. >> good to see you again. >> good to see you. >> good discussion. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> thank you for calling. the only thing is if your representative will not even answer the phone, does he care? >> he cares. they all do. i believe one of the big eliases that public opinion does not matter. keep it coming. -- one of the big lie is is that public opinion does not matter. >> in a few moments, the federal
deposit insurance corp. moves ahead with a plan to penalize banks with certain compensation for executives. in about half an hour the head of the u.s. chamber of commerce on the state of american business. after that, republican senators on their recent trip to afghanistan and pakistan, and later, the town hall meeting hosted by the representative of indiana. tomorrow morning, two house members on counter intelligence and the attempted bombing of the flight. pete hoekstra is the ranking member. and then questions about jobs.
good "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. a couple of events to tell you about tomorrow morning. the first public meeting of the financial inquiry commission is on c-span 2 at 9:00 eastern. they look of the causes of the financial situation, including testimony from the heads of bankamerica, j.p. morgan shares, and goldman sacks. the house armed services committee focuses on military. witnesses include representatives from the department of state and the head of the u.s. pacific command. that is live on c-span 3 at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> did you know the number one freak news application for your iphone is c-span radio? -- #one free news application
for your iphone is c-span radio? there's also a tab with links to all our podcast, including question -- "q &a." >> the decision to open a plan for public comment passed by a vote of 3-2. we join this meeting just after it started. >> we have been told the industry has reformed. while it appears more compensation is paid out in restricted stock, it is unclear whether this represents lasting
reform. as troubling as the bonuses are, this is not about the level of compensation but is a matter for shareholders. it does us whether certain structures encouraged institutions we insurer to take imprudent risk, and if so, should that be factored into our assessment? this type of risk evaluation is central to our mission and purpose. i am confident our work will benefit from the fact of supervisors such as the federal reserve are also looking into this issue. i am equally confident the feds and our efforts will complement each other as they do in so many areas -- capital strength, stable liquidity -- these are all factors integral to our process. all of these areas are -- in all areas, complement's the process.
i would like to staff to present our first step to understanding the risks of this post sue financial institutions and insurance funds. they will present the case. >> thank you, and good morning. this authorization to publish the proposal for the comment. staff is recommending publication to obtain public comment on how the system could be used to address risk presented by a poorly designed incentive compensation programs. with academic research and evidence from recent bank failures showing that a poorly designed compensation programs
can promote excessive risk- taking and can contribute to the cost of financial institution failures. programs that award immediate cash compensation based on the amount of income and which do not also have effective safeguards to limit the risks which can a company striving for the schools have been problematic. the board has the knowledge these issues. the fdic is currently working with federal reserve staff on this effort. the proposed approach set forth is designed to complement the efforts by rewarding banks that can achieve standards above the thresholds of supervisors. we believe supervisory efforts can be strengthened. the first approach is targeted toward compensation structure and compete -- contains the
features that would limit the compensation of high performing employees. banks using programs that contain the following three features could qualify for advantageous treatment under the risk-based premium season. first, a significant portion of compensation for the employees can present risk for the organization, and you also receive compensation. it should be comprised of restricted, non-discounted company stock. second, significant awards of company stock should only become vested over a multi-year 7 should be subject to a mechanism designed to account for the outcome of risk. third, the compensation program should be administered by a committee of the board composed of independent directors with input from professionals to.
using such occur, they could either reward banks that meet the standards with lower assessment rates or could charge higher rates to those banks that chose not to meet standards. the anpr concludes with a series of questions pertaining to the scope of the rule very good stuff has purposely remained on specific on several aspects of the structure to encourage a broader array of responses does the board have any questions? >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chairman. ibm -- i am prepared to support this notice. the purpose of this anpr is to seek public comment on the feasibility of incorporating risks posed by an employee compensation programs into the
fdic's risc-based pricing systems. and i think in light of the risks posed by compensation programs, that is a worthwhile goal. i think the feasibility of achieving it is not small, and in fact, the anpr points out while there is general agreement certain programs must align their incentives and increased risk, the proposals to address these problems differ, some identify the risk posed as easier than the appropriate solution to address, and i frankly do not approach this issue with a presumed outcome. i think the effort here is to pose an open-ended set of questions and seek public comment on the feasibility of an undertaking this effort, and i think it is a worthwhile undertaking, and i am prepared
to support it. thank you 3 >> thank you i also support this. recent experience shows compensation practices have had an impact on institutions. the compensation practices are clearly irrelevant risk factor in determining premium or assessment levels. i think the proposed anpr is a good way to start of practice. i share the goal of using risc based assessments tomb adequately compensate the risks presented by certain programs. also to encourage banking organizations to adopt compensation programs that a line employee interest with other stakeholders, and three, to promote the use of
compensation programs that foster some risk-management practices throughout the organization. the proposed approach, which describes three essential components to the sound employee compensation program is a good starting point. the use of stocks as well as look out, all of which administer by an independent board committee with input by experts are key to sound compensation programs. the anpr's basic framework with the questions it poses merit further public and industry comment. i think robust public comment would be useful to the sport as we develop appropriate incentives for employee compensation in the context of our system. >> thank you. >> executive compensation is a topic that has drawn scrutiny
from numerous orders triggered a scholars have tried to understand the crisis and how to avoid a repeat of the events, there is little doubt that some interest risk taking to the detriment of the system as a whole. legislators and regulators both here and other countries are currently taking steps to address this problem. did they all confront the real and difficult issues that arise when the government treads closer to transcribing compensation levels for private business, a process that holds it -- also run the risk of substantially and unnecessarily increasing regulatory burden for smaller institutions. while i agree that carefully
addressed steps are appropriate, i do not believe that this is one of those steps -- of least not air it this time and not with the approach currently presented. i have two concerns. first, issuance would be premature. congress has recently taken of legislation in this area. the reform act passed in september included specific rulemaking requirements for all financial regulators for years those would require the disclosure of all compensation to financial regulators and prohibit compensation that could threaten safety or have serious adverse effects on economic conditions or the economy. there's every reason to believe the senate bill would also address this topic with the similarly coordinated approach. in addition, the board is currently developing guidance on
programs covering all banking organizations. this supervisory approach would not limit compensation as a specific approach. rather, it seeks to ensure instead of compensation programs, and corporate effective quality control. unlike the uncertainty of waiting for legislative proposals to become law, coordination of the final work of the board is quite feasible forget it would be very unfortunate to have an end result where they are subject to in consistent themes evaluating the risks of the executive compensation program. i think we should wait until we have the results of the efforts before heading down a path that would be on the surrey and consistent.
this leads me to my second concern. i do not believe the sufficient reason has been designated. while the rulemaking authority to establish a deposit insurance system is broad, it is not limitless. the risk factors must relate to the probability that the deposit insurance fund will incur a loss with respect to the institution. citation simply do not provide an adequate basis to support the broad approach. nor are the material reviews helpful to support the broad approach these reviews deal with a limited and underrepresented group of institutions, mostly smaller. when it does mention excessive compensation, it tends to be general and not specific, and when specific common stations are mentioned, it is
overwhelmingly won four officers are rewarded based on the volume of loans without consideration for the quality. the particular approach would apply to a much broader array of arrangements for banks large and small for which there is no connection to losses sustained by the fund. i have substantial concerns about trying to address the real problem of risky compensation arrangements through increases in the insurance assessment. where there are clearly identified problems, i think we ought to address them first through direct examination and supervision of the process provides. only if that is inadequate should we consider other measures. for these reasons, i cannot support anpr. >> review of health the practice has long been a component of the supervision of federal and
state thank regulators. this has been under the context of management. after the last crisis, compensation was adopted the finds excessive compensation is an unsafe and unsound practice. federal banking agencies have authority to make arrangements to supervise safety and soundness bergen it authorizes the appropriate federal banking agency to take enforcement action against any insured depository institution engaged or about to engage in any unsound practice staff cites a series of loss reviews by the office, where it sounds plan -- it found plans were contributing to the sellers of particular institutions. invariably, the other factors
included concentration and for loan writing institution during all failures also reflected the ratings of the failed institutions. in particular, low asset quality kerrigan staff does not focus on the other statements, which include reference to the provisions of november 12 related to "meeting the needs of creditworthy borrowers. by serving the audit committee, charged with reviewing all material loss reviews, similar language is found. "the fdic and other regulators have increased their focus for taken actions to provide guidance on compensation guidelines." the same language and another of
-- and they go on to say, " clearly designed compensation policies can create perverse incentives that ultimately jeopardize the health of the banking organization to regain management compensation policies should be aligned with the long term interest of the institution and should structure compensation to prevent short- term payments with long-term horizons. the statement goes on to say -- referring back to the 2008 statement -- emphasizes the banking organizations are expected to regularly review their policies, to ensure they are consistent with the long- term objectives of the organization and sound lending practices vary good when we consider performance bonus programs the do not address asset quality objectives to be a significant concern, which we addressed in our reports. in that language, i do not find
a recommendation that would suggest that compensation plans were the only cause of the failure of a particular institution or the existing regulatory was not sufficient to do with the issue going forward for your love is not to say there might not be some issues to do with authorities that could have improvements. in that regard, there are multiple regulations guidance related to these issues already federal authorities of safety and soundness. i go back to the excessive compensation plans the november 12 interagency guidance related to borrowers, which specifically refers to compensation plans
that provide fervors incentives. 3, interagency guidance the present excessive compensation and has an -- as an unsafe condition. then we have the charter authorities including states that have statutory requirements that they be reviewed and approved by the regulators, and one of the reviews quoted by staff cites the failure of the appropriate state charter authority to have accomplished. we have the limit on golden parachutes supplied to all institutions. beginning on february 28 of this year, public companies must
disclose their compensation policies and dreyfuses and how they relate to risk to the extent of risks are rising from these policies and are likely to have an adverse affect on the companies. finally, this is premature. congress is currently debating whether to require additional exposure on compensation for public companies for regan we do not know yet what those will imply. excessive compensation practices of the largest companies have received much attention in the press. that is seen as one factor that caused the current crisis for your eyes understand there are examples where there is every indication that the plan
complies to good public policy, particularly in these times when the american taxpayer has been asked to endure great luck would get some of the numbers related to average bank employees in this country. as reported in the compensation and benefits survey, the following positions across all assets received "average salary and benefits" as follows. ceo -- $239,400. the chief operating officer, wondered $52,100.30 of the chief financial officer, 140,900, and i can go through the list. chiding those numbers can be kept in mind as we see the
reports for bonuses for wall street companies forget i also think compensations are well below the threshold that should rise to a level of concern of this board kerrigan -- this for. i also believe we have not done enough research as it relates to the vast majority of institutions. it is true that several have referred to the compensation of individual employees as a contributing factor of the failure of the institution, but it is critical to emphasize the word contributing in that analysis, so how does the federal agency begin to take on this task to determine whether that plan must first be approved by owners or directors, shareholders, account holders,
and other stakeholders? compensation has long been a part of business. the directors have a responsibility to ensure it is not excessive given the resources of the company. in conclusion, i will be voting against this proposal for the three reasons. one is i believe it is premature. congress is considering language which could deal with some of the same issues we are concerned with here. two-regulatory action. the director has mentioned the proposed rule making by the federal reserve, which are believed in appropriate circumstances could be an interagency proposal, and i
believe may lead to the same types of concerns we see here. 3, i need to us, what of the limits of the authority to include factors specifically set doubt in section 1817. are we setting of presidents for utilizing the system for purposes beyond what congress intended? thank you >> thank you. as always, it is regrettable when we have a split vote on his ford, but i must say to do it -- on this board, but to take a position where we will not ask questions is not one i can understand her reagan i do not understand why we need to keep waiting -- can understand. i do not understand why we need to keep waiting. the longer we try for meaningful reforms, the longer this dissipates.
we are simply asking the questions, and there are a number of institutions the draw a clear line to institutions. that is not to say we should not be looking at the skewed compensation of larger institutions as well and how that fit into the credit crisis, which has obviously impose massive losses. we must rely on academic research done by our own staff to determine if there is cause and effect. we are obliged to have risk- adjusted premiums, and we are obliged to try and factor in those risky elements into a premium structure. i think there is nothing we are doing that conflicts with the fed is doing. there is nothing that conflict what congress is doing.
these are complementary efforts. they are not inconsistent but the justice agency should not do anything when there is such an overwhelming amount of evidence that this is an intruder to the crisis. i cannot understand that. you made a very good inventory of all the difference dealing with management and compensation, but i must say, how effective has the been? and i must look the other tools to complement these efforts forget i think regulators have been criticized for not fully explored the tools we have at our disposal to address some of the root causes of this crisis, so i thickest incumbent to fully explore the tools we have to address the risk to the banking system, which is not within our authority but within our
obligation that we should have risk-weighted assessment. i regret we could not all come together on this, but i think this is worth exploring. as the vice-chairman said, this will be a difficult task. defining this will be difficult , defining the amount. i think there are a lot of smart people who can enlighten us on this subject. to not just a question would not be responsible. with the, do we have a motion? >> i move. >> all in favor say aye. thank you very much. the motion passes 3-2. we will now move into a closed session.
>> in a few moments the head of the u.s. chamber of commerce on the state of american business. in a little more than a half- hour, republican senators on their recent trip to afghanistan and pakistan. after that, the indiana rep hosts a town hall meeting on health care, and later, a meeting of federal deposit insurance corp on pay for banking executives. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, two house members on the attempted bombing of the northwest airlines flight. the democratic rep is a member of the intelligence committee, and the republican representative is the ranking member. the washington bureau chief will
take your questions about the unemployment rate and plans for job creation, and we will discuss education. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. a couple of events to tell you about tomorrow morning. the first public meeting is on c-span 2 at 9 eastern. this includes testimony from the heads of bank of america, j.p. morgan chase, and goldman sex. witnesses include representatives from the department of state and the head of the u.s. pacific command. that is live on c-span 3 at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> american icons -- three
original documentary from c- span, now available on dvd. a unique journey through the iconic homes. see the exclusive di tella of the supreme court. go beyond the velvet ropes of the white house. explore the architecture of the capital. a three-disc dvd said. it is one of the many items available at c-span.org/store. >> now the state of american business. this is a little more than half hour. >> i'm vice-president of the national chamber of commerce. if i could ask both at the back to come on in and take a seat
>> we will get started this morning. i am thrilled to be part of this. foundation. that's the part of the chamber of commerce that identifies emerge business issues and helps develop sensible approaches to those issues so that we can foster economic prosperity and create jobs. and you're going to hear a lot more about that from our speakers today. the first thing i'd like to do is open by thanking our media partner, cq roll call group. they got together last fall, recently merged this mighty partnership and we're thrilled that you all have joined us in sponsoring this event today. so not wanting to keep you from the reason that you're here, i will turn it over to our media sponsor, keith white, of cq roll call. it took me a minute to practice that. and thank you, keith, for joining us. [applause]
>> thank you, margaret. as margaret mentioned, we are now the cq roll call group, we merged last august and it solidified our position as not only the largest news group in washington covering congress, but we're also owned by the economists group, which gives us a global perspective and of interest to a lot of the folks in this room. cq has been dog this for years, and last year, we sat at this podium and tom dononue facing a grim economy in an incoming popular president, we had not supported, declared he would work with the administration, but vowed to fight the policy that he saw would smother the spirit of american enterprise, the power of the american dream. well, chamber was very successful in winning a number of their fights, but the president also had success. cq records that in the last six decades, no president had as much legislative success as obama, with over 97% legislative victories.
but as margaret and i were speaking earlier, if you don't like the weather, just stick around and that's the way it is in politics. unemployment is now at 10%. yesterday, obama's approval rating had fallen to 46%, and the political discussion has shifted to how many seats the democrats will lose in the upcoming midterm elections. in this environment, we once again hear from tom done you'll as he outlines the business community's plan to looks at what will be the beginning of a fragile discovery, with a quarter of the d.c.'s largest trade group, he serves as the president and c.e.o. of the chamber of commerce. he advocates for more than three million member businesses in washington and throughout the world. his accomplishments as the head of the chamber are man fold and his energy, discipline and organizational skills, he brings endeavors are such that i recommend that we listen carefully today, because whatever the outcome, his influence will surely be felt. ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce
mr. tom donahoe. [applause] >> well, thank you very much, keith, and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. and welcome to the chamber. i again would like to express our appreciation to keith's group, cq roll call, and to the national foundation and to others for helping to put this event together. keith, i was taken back for a minute, about the president's extraordinary track record, but then i remembered that the important pieces of legislation aren't done yet. at the outset of this new year, there are some encouraging signs that the state of american business is improving. after almost two years in severe recession, the economy began growing again, in the third quarter of 2009, by 20.2%.
-- by 2.2%. fourth quarter growth could be significantly higher. but we should not assume that that would signal a trend. overall, the chamber expects growth for 2010 in the range of 3%. yet, while there have been some improvements, we must add another word when describing the state of american business today, and that word is uncertainty. think for a moment about the nation's job creators. the men and women who run our small and large businesses as well as those who lead our universities, our health care facilities, an many other institutions that employ our work force. if you were in their shoes today, would you jump quickly into new investments and hiring? or would you wait for some clarity and some common sense to take hold first?
most of these job creators would like nothing more than to keep their workers employed. to create new jobs and bring some hope and relief to families struggling without a paycheck. but when you look at what's going on in washington, in the states, and around the world, somewhat do they see? they see massive tax increases on the horizon, not just the expiration of the tax cuts passed over the last decade, but has hundreds of -- also hundreds of bills of dollars in new taxes. they see health care legislation that contains a burdensome mandate on employers and virtually no meaningful reforms to improve quality and cost control. they see a climate change bill and a potential epa regulations that could significantly raise
energy prices and impose new layers of bureaucracy on their organizations. they see financial services legislation, moving forward that could choke off their access to capital, at a time when lending is already very tight. america's job creators also see a renewed push by union leaders to pass card check, and many other measures to control the workplace. they see a trial bar working with their allies in congress, and with many state attorneys general, to expand opportunities for new litigation. they see the rise of trade isolationism at home, and abroad, that could threaten their export markets, and now renewed fears about terrorism. and our job creators see the federal government planning to
expand the national debt by at least $9 trillion over the next decade. more debt than has been piled up in all the previous years since george washington. they see many states going broke as well. what will the impact be on their companies, and their employees? these are the uncertainties that job creators are wrestling with. uncertainties that call into no one is paying a higher price than the american worker. over 7 million americans have lost their jobs since the recession began. 10% of the workforce is unemployed. this is a number the source beyond 17% when you add those who have stopped looking for a job and the millions of part-
time workers who want to work full time. our nation faces many big challenges, but no priority is more a important than putting americans back to work, so the chamber is calling upon leaders in government, business, labour, and across society to unite around the ambitious goal of creating 20 million jobs, new jobs, over the next 10 years. with 20 million jobs, we can be employed the unemployed and meet the needs of our young people -- weekend re -- we can reemploy the unemployed and meet the needs of our young people. we made this the centerpiece of our new campaign to support the free enterprise system. we did so in part because we
were troubled policy makers in washington seem to be focused on everything else but the creation of jobs at that time. .] today, almost everyone is talking about jobs and that's a great start. but talk won't create the jobs we need and over the long term, neither can the government. in his economic speech last month, president obama said, and i quote, job creation will ultimately depend on the real job creators' businesses across america. america. we hear you, mr. preside and we agree. so let's talk frankly and specifically about the policies that we must have to accelerate growth and put our citizens back to work. first, we can create jobs by doubling u.s. exports in five
years, and five years again. this is an ambitious, yet achievable goal. but to get there, we need a bold and aggressive trade policy, something that we don't have today. the rest of the world is not waiting around for the united states to act. countries are busy making their own arrangements. with each other and leaving us in the dust, we all know about the political pressure against trade coming from some of our unions. but there is no excuse for america to take a back seat to global leadership and trade. washington is sitting on pending trade agreements with south korea, colombia and panama. if we fail to pass them, we will not only miss opportunities to create new jobs, we will lose a large number of existing jobs. south korea, for example, is ready to proceed with a free
trade agreement they have negotiated with the e.u. if the europeans go ahead and we believe they would, about mid year, while we continue to delay, and a very legitimate study, estimated that 350,000 more americans will lose their jobs. with millions of americans already desperate for work, how could any member of congress or the administration sit by and allow this to happen. we must also modernize our export controls, which today caused us billions in lost high tech sales. increasing these sales, allows us to create great manufacturing jobs here in the united states. we need to fix the buy american rules, which have delays, stimulus projects, and new hiring for months and months. while also risking trade
retaliation against our workers, and our businesses. we must seize the potential of small and medium sized businesses, to export. they already account, by the way, for 30% of our total exports. we can bring thousands of smaller firms into the international marketplace, if we assist them. with expertise, trade promotion, and financing. we must also vigorously protect our intellectual property. the theft of i.p. costs our nation hundreds of thousands of jobs every year, and threatens consumer safety and puts our leadership in innovation at risk. at its recent white house job summit, president obama said, and i quote, if we just increase our share of exports to asia by 1%, that's about a quarter of a million jobs.
if we increase it by 5, that's a million jobs. that fills a big hole. and it doesn't cost us money. but right on, mr. president, the business community is ready to work with you, and with congress to expand our exports around the world. our second point is that we can create jobs by rebuilding america's infrastructure. our economic platform is running out of capacity, and it is dangerously declining in quality, and safety. to me, our infrastructure needs, we need to boost public investments while working to ensure that the money is spent wisely in areas of genuine need. reauthorization of the nation's core highway bill is essential now. but it is the private sector that can be the main driver of
new innovator projects in transportation, power generation, and transmission. water systems and communications. one study estimates that there's $180 billion in private capital already available to build infrastructure projects. put this money to work, in conjunction with public dollars, and it could support more than 1.5 million jobs over 10 years. to unleash this capital, governments must clear away regulatory impediments, and legal uncertainties, and provide incentives that public agencies include private sector participation in their efforts. you know, it takes too long to build anything substantial in this country. and everybody knows that. the federal highway administration found that it takes 13 years for major projects to go from initiation
to completion. the chamber is prepared to work with governments at every level, to attack these barriers, and remove them. we can then put americans back to work, with private infrastructure investments, that add long-term value to our economy, and boost our global competitiveness. now, third, we can create jobs with major investments and break-throughs in energy. one of the great rallying cries of our day is let's create green jobs. while we share in the excitement, and have supported alternative energy projects at every opportunity for years, we must balance our enthusiasm with some realities. we urge policymakers to do the same. the united states has the talent and the capacity to invent the green technologies here at home.
but if we don't address the excessive costs in our business environment, and brace an aggressive trade policy or protect our intellectual property, the businesses, the jobs, and the technology will go somewhere else. we should also produce more american energy on our land and off our shores. including oil and gas and clean coal, which would improve energy security, create jobs here at home, and keep our economy competitive. one of the most powerful ideas, which we should jump on immediately, is a rapid expansion of clean, safe, nuclear energy. and i believe, by the way, there is a growing sentiment in this city and in this country to do so. nuclear power is a solution that doesn't have to be invented. we can use it now, and make it a
vital part of our climate change solution, because it doesn't admit green house -- emit green house gases. license applications have been submitted for 26 new reactors. if all of them were built, they could support about 240,000 direct and indirect jobs, and as time goes on, we'll need to build many more of them. but whether other countries take -- whereas other countries take two or three years to license a new reactor and less than four years to build it, a new reactor here takes five years to license, another five years to build and that's before the environmental suits start. we must address these delays, as well as the legal uncertainties and the financial risks that stand in their way. nuclear energy is not the only promising energy source facing such hurdles. the chamber has identified more
than 380 specific projects across the country, more than one-third of them, wind, solar and other renewable energy projects that have been delayed or even killed by the not in my backyard theory. it's time to end the unnecessary barriers. they cost jobs, threaten our energy diversity security, and leadership. the fourth part of our plan, is that we can create jobs by expanding credit across this country. we urgently need to find ways to ensure that business, especially small business, can get the credit they need to invest and create jobs. robust sba lending programs, a strong export-import bank, which by the way, carries no net cost to the taxpayers, and an openness to foreign capital are all important, but the real
question is how to fix and revitalize our capital markets. we must close regulatory gaps and take additional steps to protect investors and consumers. but we must not overregulate our markets and our companies, limit consumer choice, or attempt to drive all risk taking out of the system. businesses get the capital they need in very diverse ways. this is especially true for smaller companies. they use every possible source, from lines of credit on their homes, personal credit cards, asset backed lenders, and loans from family and friends. we must preserve of these credit options. that's why the focus on reform efforts on capitol hill should not be on limiting the choices available, but rather, on making sure they are sold responsibly
by registered firms. unfortunately, the financial regulatory reform bill passed by the house moves us in many ways in the wrong direction. we are hopeful that the current discussions among the key senate players will produce a better bill that can be conferenced with the house. it seems like everyone in washington is meeting with the bankers these days. first, the bankers were told to build up more capital. then they were told to hurry up and lend it. then they faced the prospect of having their loans and financial products second guessed by regulators. lawyers, judges, state attorneys general, and congress. and today, they learned that their transactions will probably be taxed. this is precisely why it's important to establish clear certain rules with strong oversights and then get the
government and the politicians out of the business of micromanaging banks and other financial companies. strong capital markets and financial services provide the fuel that willpower economic growth and jobs. congress and the regulators must get this right. our fifth point to create jobs is that we must ease the uncertainty over tax increases as well as health and environmental, labor, legal and fiscal policies. congress, the administration, and the states must recognize that our weak economy simply cannot sustain all of these new taxes, regulations, and mandates now under consideration. it is a sure fire recipe for a double dip recession or worse. now let me say a word about
taxes. instead, of this situation i outline, lawmakers should enact tax incentives, for example, preserve the reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividend income, shorten depreciation and extend section 179 i understand the argument, but he cannot have it both ways. if you want to tax, you will have a difficult time convincing people to create jobs. responsible reform is urgently needed. it could quickly free of billions of dollars without -- of a payroll without jeopardize retirement plans. congress and the white house should seriously consider
maintaining all federal income tax rates at their current level for the foreseeable future. i know this flies in the face of some strongly held views, but taking this -- taken -- taking this a bold step would reduce uncertainty. it would bolster jobs by leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in productive funds. it would help small businesses and their employees succeed since many of them pay their taxes as individuals. the impact on the deficit is clearly a were the consideration. remember, we are not talking about cutting income taxes below what they are today. we are talking deferring a massive tax increase in a very weak economy. a tax increase that the intended purpose is not reduce the deficit but to pay for more spending. if we go ahead with these tax
cuts, we will likely end up with even bigger deficits and greater economic misery. let me make one final point about tax increases. in the coming weeks, we expect to see numerous proposals from the small business tax relief. we will probably support all. y support them all. but we must also remind americans that larger companies create lots of american jobs. larger companies sustain countless small companies, who are their suppliers and who provide services, to their employees. and larger companies have the greatest ability and pressure on them to move their operations elsewhere, if america does not remain competitive. when that happens, small companies get hurt. thus, it makes no sense, no sense at all, to rob peter to
pay paul. by offering one shot tax cuts to small firms, while imposing massive tax increases on larger ones. we need companies of all sizes to succeed. congress and the administration also need to find a more rational and affordable way to address our health care and climate change. the chamber supports a health care reform program and has for many years. we have offered many positive ideas to the congress, the administration, and the american people. unfortunately, the legislation emerging from the house and the senate is not reform. it's not reform when you undermine the private employer based system, while doing nothing to reign in costs. it's a prescription for fiscal
insolvency, and eventual government takeover of the american health care system. now, the chamber also supports strong climate change policy, both domestic, legislation, and a global agreement. but the bill passed by the house last year, would tie economic activity in knots and eliminate jobs from one end of the country to another. that's why a growing number of democrats in the senate are running from this approach, just as fast and as far as they can. and they share the concerns voiced by the chamber, and many others regarding the potential economic impact of the e.p.a.'s endangerment finding. america's job creators also have to worry about whether they're going to face new union organizing rules. such as card check. and a provision to have federal appointed arbitrators force the
first contract on newly unionized companies, as well as 90 other regulations being considered by the labor department, which all have the potential of upping the cost of small and large companies alike. now, we fought these ill conceived policies successfully last year, and we'll put -- pull out all the stops to do it again. the seemingly endless expansion of litigation also is a problem. it gives employers great pause as well. the chamber's institute for legal reform will continue its comprehensive program to stop lawsuit abuse. while our in-house law firm, the national chamber litigation center, will vigorously defend employees' interests in court. ladies and gentlemen, that's the chamber's job plan. yet we must also ensure that
america has well-trained workers to fill these jobs. that's why we need a number of things. first, a comprehensive immigration reform plan that offers flexibility for guest workers. we must also recognize that no economy and no society in the 21st century can succeed over the long run if it allows 30% of its young people to drop out of high school. the fundamental failure tears away at the fabric of the american dream. and our nation's promise of equal opportunity. now, we've been working with school reform leaders across the nation, with the obama administration, and others, to promote major reforms in k-12 education. we're pushing states to develop rigorous standards on basic subjects, and we're strongly supporting the administration's effort to emphasize math and
science at all levels in the race to the top program. so let me conclude with a few comments about how we plan to drive our agenda forward. first, i believe this country is ready and eager to rally around the cause of creating jobs, and putting americans back to work. i'm confident we will find a hot of common ground with the administration, with the congress, and the states on this priority effort. we also understand that nothing grabs the attention of our politicians more than an upcoming election. last year, we generated one million citizen contacts to capitol hill on key legislative issues and we're just getting warmed up. this year, we plan to organize and carry out the largest, most aggressive voter education and
issue advocacy effort in our 100 year history. make it clear you understand, we never get involved in presidential politics, period. we haven't, we won't. but as america chooses a new house, the chamber will highlight lawmakers and candidates who support pro job agendas, and hold accountable those that don't. we also continue to make job creation the substantive centerpiece of our positive campaign in support of free enterprise. of after only three months officially in operation, our campaign is already enlisted 300,000 free enterprise supporters, americans from all walks of life, who believe that our economic freedoms are worth fighting for. who believe that free enterprise with all of its faults and
occasional excesses is the only system that can create 20 million jobs and lead us back to prosperity. we're going to significantly expand the campaign, throughout this year and beyond. we aim to create a new dynamic in this country. so that every time a lawmaker is prepared to take a position, or to cast a vote, he or she first stops and considers. is this going to strengthen free enterprise and create jobs, or will it undermine economic freedom and destroy jobs? some see americans free enterprise system as the last great idea. an idea that has failed in its mission. an idea that is simply not up to the challenge of -- challenges of our time. how wrong they are. free enterprise is the next
great idea. of all the innovations america has bestowed upon the world, free enterprise is the greatest innovation of all. it renews and reinvents itself every day. it is never old, and it's never tired, it is always young and it is always vibrant. that's because its strength and its goodness rest on the enduring principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and the basic human right of every person to be and do his or her very best. and when that happens, society is well served. thank you very much. thank you for coming. and haveñññññññvo
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> republican senators on their recent trip to afghanistan and pakistan. in about 40 minutes, my pence post a town hall meeting on health care. after that, the fdic goes ahead on a plan to penalize banks for certain ways the a, -- they compensate their executives. we will rebury the state of american business address from the u.s. chamber of commerce.
on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, house members on counterintelligence and the bombing of the northwest airlines flight. republican representative pete with extra -- ahoeskstra speaks. we will discuss education with amy weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers. it is live every day at 718 -- 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> a couple of like a vintage tomorrow morning. the first public meeting of the financial increase commission is on c-span2. there the that the causes of the financial situation includes testimony from the head of bankamerica, morgan stanley,
jpmorgan chase, and goldman sachs. they focused on china's military. witnesses includes representatives from the department of defense and state and the head of the u.s. pacific command. that is live on c-span3 at 10:00 eastern. senate minority -- minority leader says leaders in pakistan and afghanistan are uneasy but the commitment to the region after the summer of 2011. he spoke with reporters about the trip. this is about 40 minutes.
we just got back from pakistan and afghanistan. we wanted to share with you some of our observations about the ship. -- trip. with regard to the deadline of 2011. -- 2011, i think it is somewhat of a problem for both the afghans and americans over there in terms of our willingness to stay. the afghans have had a number of experiences with people and not finishing the job. there is some confusion attached to that. we try to underscore what i believe is the position of the secretary of defense and the secretary of state in the president.
the summer of 2011 does not mean automatic draw them. it is basically a position on the ground. everywhere we went either has clear progress. we will -- we were not just in kabul. we met with a lot of the locals, including a local that sprung back to life that had been shut down by the taliban. there is no question that our presence is creating improvements. the thing i want to touch on returning to senator chris bo is more detail and the confusion surrounding detention policy. from the top to the bottom, the american military people that we talked to indicated some confusion operationally about
what you do when you are detained -- when you detain terrorists. this confusion in my view -- when general did not want to answer the question without turning to his lawyer who was also in the room. this operational confusion has created unnecessarily and dangerously by the administration. there are in these two standards of contention. if you are captured by a u.s. soldier who is not under nato command, there is another standard. this preoccupation if you will that we see on full display here in the u.s. with the example of
the christmas would be bomber was turned not over to the military but to interrogation -- military for interrogation but turned over to military courts. that is a mentality that i believe is very dangerous in the world of terror. we see this preoccupation with present right to vote on foreign battlefields and here at home. it seems to be consuming the administration in this war on terror. i think it is wrong. i think guantanamo should not be closed. i think there is a reason why we passed the military commission legislation. it was to try these kind of people. they cannot be allowed to properly interrogate and detained without some of the concern is that you might have
here in the united states for robbing a convenience store strikes me as a pretty wrong headed way to conducted the war. i'm hopeful we will move in the direction of clearing up this confusion. from top to bottom in iraq, concerns about the military people regarding to this are there. >> thank you. i share center mcconnell's concern. -- senator mcconnell's concern. i wanted to make several points. first, it is very clear that the morale of our troops is very high. we have a tremendous fighting
force in afghanistan and a very committed american soldiers who are doing their job. where our troops have moved into a region, and they have been successful in keeping their objective so far. their objective is to clear the area of the taliban and to start the process of searching long- term control. the morale is high. secondly, i was impressed with the quality of american personnel on the ground, not just our troops but of those who are running in managing all aspects of our strategy in afghanistan and pakistan. from this day department and intelligence officials all the way to our military men officials -- military officials. americans can be proud of the personnel we have on the ground
they are doing such a good job. the other thing i want to comment on before i turn it over to the set is -- to lisa is there does seem to be a deficit of trust. that is both in terms of pakistani officials as well as afghan officials. they have a concern about whether the united states is going to finish the job. this is creating concern in both pakistan and in afghanistan. in pakistan, a number of the senior taliban officials have moved across the border into pakistan. we need pakistans assistance to clear them and to achieve the objective of stopping their operation. yet pakistan is somewhat concerned about whether the united states is going to be withdrawing in 18 months and if
so, if it is a good move on their part to engage in trying to clear the taliban with whom they do not have a current conflict. on the afghan side of the border, there is a similar issue. as our troops clear an area, then the process of holding and building the area back significantly involves the confidence and trust of the people in the region. if the people in the region think the united states is the going to be there in a little bit of time and that the taliban will just move in and fill the void, then they have a much more difficult time making that decision to move their loyalty over and actively engage in the process. for both reasons, and there is a concern as to whether we are
going to help move us forward. get it to the point where we can build the afghan military forces and strengthen it. with that, i will turn it over. you are next. >> thank you. in our very short visit to afghanistan and pakistan, we had an opportunity to really meet with the military leadership in both countries, the head of the pakistani military as low as the prime minister of pakistan and are meeting with meetingkarzai. preeti meeting with president karzai. -- our meeting with president karzai. in our meeting with president
carskarzai, he addressed the significance of the upcoming parliamentary election and the need to ensure that the process moves forward to clearly define or established a legitimacy of the afghan government. also had an opportunity to visit the police training centers there in kabul. it is very important to understand the progress that is being made as the afghan army is being trained predicted they are true the operating as -- at a deficit in terms of the numbers and bringing more recruits in. what they have seen in the past several months has been remarkable in terms of the
number of recruits that have come in. we met with the minister of defense who indicated that just in the past month the number of recruits that they have received have been incredible. they have not been able to process them quickly enough as they come forward. i think we also need to understand that these recruits, as eager and energetic as they may be, have some issues but it obviously, the biggest -- issues. obviously, the biggest of which is the literacy rate. the percentage of those that are illiterate better actually going to train is even lower. where we were in the south, the different dynamic. this is where the center of the
activity is right now. this is where we are seeing more of the taliban present. unfortunately, we do not have as many police forces coming from the south as they do from the north. there are many dynamics at play that make it more difficult. it was mentioned by senator crapo about the morale of the american forces that are there, and the morale of the civilian forces. it is all very positive, very strong. we also saw on the afghan side, as we talked to the travel leaders that we met with, the district governor, the governor, and the local tribal leaders, and that there is very much a desire, a willingness, to take this fight and have them
be the ones that are in charge. when we walked through the bazaar, we were with the marines, but those that were providing the protection for that the village were all local iraqi -- excuse me, afghani police forces. that was who was providing the level of protection and security in the community that just two months before you were not able to walk through. the combination of the american, and nato forces in conjunction with a growing afghan army presence is truly making a difference. slowly, but it is making a difference. >> thank you. i want to thanks senator mcconnell for putting together a good trip over a very short
time. we had a chance to meet with the top military leadership, the leader of the army of pakistan, in medellin the president of afghanistan but the four officials that make up the defense. these people when asked will tell you that the july 2011 with a drawl date is a problem. it is a problem that can be overcome. it is a propaganda tool for the taliban who are spreading the message that the united states may not be there tuesday or there for the long haul. it is a propaganda tool for those in the area who wish us well and would like to see a state. -- proceed us stay.
our officials and the afghan officials are countering this by pointing out statements made by the secretary of defense and by members of the administration than we are there for a long- term strategic partnership. usaid is there big time, helping as after the clearing and holding and to show them we want a long-term strategic partnership. we are building to consulate -- two consulates to show the we do not intend to leave. it is a problem certainly politically for us with the 2011 date. by the same token, our generals are good people. they understand the chain of command. the work for the secretary of defense and the president of the
united states. they are following their decision with regard to capture enemy combatants. as the minority leader said, when asked the question of an " what do we do with captured enemy combatants?" it was clear that the answer was confusion and uncertainty on the part of our troops and the afghan security forces. that is something that we will have to be -- that will have to be overcome. i think we can overcome these two major concerns that senator mcconnell outlined. i think there is a feeling among their troops both at the top level, general mcchrystal and the troops we visited with, both in kabul and down in southern regions -- that we are in a good position.
what helmand province between now and july and august of 2010. i think that will tell the tale. i do think we have the right approach to clear, holt, bill, and sustain -- hold, build, sustain, and rely on the police . when the support of the local elders -- with the support of the local elders and tribal leaders. this is a strategy that can and will work. there are problems that we have caused here in washington, d.c. that i believe can be overcome. >> let me add just one quick thing and then we will throw it open. for those of you who are student of history, it was said that
even during the american revolution our population was in three groups. you have the loyalists, the revolutionaries, and the other third was waiting to see who would win. it is not uncommon this feeling that we send in afghanistan among the fence sitters to want to know how this is going to come out. i think convincing the fence sitters is a big part of recovery and putting it in the kind condition that we can leave a drawdown with honor and leave behind a country that is dramatically better than it was when we went in. >> would it help to convince some of them if the united states would share drone technology with pakistan? do you think that would be a good idea? >> the whole policy of our -- the whole drone policy is
something that typically i would rather not discuss publicly. it is somewhat of a sensitive issue in that area of the world. it is a technique that we have employed with considerable success. we plan to continue to do so. >> what do you think the emphasis should be on during the conference at the end of the month? >> i do not know. it'll be interesting to see what comes of the conference. i know there is widespread interest in participating and being helpful. with regard to pakistan, we are all pleased at the effort the pakistan military has made with considerable success and the efforts they continue to make combating terrorism. i think they now fully believe it is extant tisch's, a threat
to the regime -- i cannot say that. i will give up on the world. the threat of the regime in pakistan. -- i will give up on that word. the dreaded the regime of pakistan. >> some have asked [unintelligible] him to resign because of comments. do you agree? >> i think that is an issue for the democratic conference. >> do you not agree? >> i think it is an issue for the democratic conference. >> on sunday, you had. if you had said similar words, they would become all republicans races. do you remember that? >> that is up to the democratic conference for . >> general mcchrystal said he is turning the tide. when you talk to the afghan officials, do they look hopeful
when it comes to the ordination between the ordination between afghanistan and pakistan, especially among the tribal areas on the borderline? they have had dressed issues before. >> -- trust issues before. >> obviously, the afghans would prefer that the border area on the pakistan side would not be a safe haven for the afghan taliban which is headquartered over there. all of us emphasize to the pakistani leadership our view that the taliban is a problem regardless, whether it is pakistan taliban or afghan taliban. a greater level of cooperation between the pakistan government and afghan government would be in everybody's best interest. it strikes us that the threat to
both regimes are quite similar. >> the official in afghanistan delivered a hard internal critique. did you seek or receive any assurance that it was being turned around? he delivered a scathing review of intelligence efforts in afghanistan recently. did you know about this? they do give any assurances that it was being turned around? >> i do not recall. anybody have an observation? i really do not have anything to say about that. >> was there any conversation about the pervasive corruption and how much that is interfering with efforts to turn anything around? >> it is a problem. it is a problem in a lot of the
places in the world. afghanistan is not unique. i think that officials at the top understand that you ultimately have the kind of government they think is enjoying the conference of the people. this is going to have to be combat it head on. become added -- combatted head on. >> i will try this from another angle. >> good luck. >> if republicans had made comments similar to senator reid, would you want them to personally surrender leadership? if it had been someone in your pocket? what's the matter how many different ways to ask the question, he was good to be the leader of the democratic party is up to the democrats in the senate. >> what did you make of the comments [unintelligible] what about the comments?
were they similar? >> i have really said all i'm going to say on that. anybody else want to take this? >> [unintelligible] >> i was on icall-in rio -- statewide call-in radio this morning. there is a particular interest in our state. the point i made in the answer -- having come back from being with our troops, i am more concerned that senator reid is the guy who a couple of years ago said the effort in iraq was lost. i think the voters in nevada will make a judgment about that. they will make a judgment about the most blatant votes in the history of the united states of
america. i think the decision with regard to senator reid will be made by the voters. >> on health care, is this all but a done deal given last month? do you think there is an opportunity to block final passage? >> we will do everything we can to stop this bill. it is interesting. it is noteworthy that in an election in massachusetts, are you will sleep -- arguably the bluest state in america, the hottest issue is the health care bill. the republican candidates said yesterday that he emphasized that he would be the 41st vote to keep this monstrosity from being wasted on the american people. -- hoisted on the american people. the polls continue to receive and support for this proposal.
i have great hope that enough democrats are going to wake up and say "we should not come our noses at the american people and cram this down their throat no matter what they think." there is an act of arrogance that is summed up by saying, "we know what ought to be done. you can sit down and shut up, american people, let us do this for you." i think they get it. i think the majority get it. i think they know how unpopular it is. i think they know how much the american people do not want to do it. i have some hope that the will have difficulty ramming this massive restructuring of one portion of our economy down the throats of the american people. >> another official in washington [inaudible]
we know it has caught some competition on capitol hill. are you concerned about any quotes of late? >> the chairman of any committee will be measured in two ways. number one, how much money did he raise and number two, how many elections did you win. that standard will be applied to that -- to this chairman. he will be judged on the basis of how much money he raised and how many candidates he elected. >> that on afghanistan. -- back on afghanistan. what needs to be done to promote economic development? what can be done to promote legislation within the region?
>> afghanistan used to be an agricultural export. we visited the area near the two rivers that are fertile. when the king of afghanistan, you think of these mountain ranges. down south in the areas along the rivers, it is very fertile. they can get on top of the opopy -- the poppy problem and get agricultural going again. >> i will speak to one aspect of we think about agriculture and how we are going to enhance economic opportunity. let's get out of the poppy. it is important to recognize that part of the dilemma that they face is how they then move
those legitimate agricultural products out of the country. when you do not have freedom of movement as they currently do not because of the corruption and the illegal checkpoints, we can encourage them all they want to plant the right things, but you cannot move it to market. it is a real problem. this is where our security forces are on the ground making a difference. >> this is me an opportunity to come back. this is largely what the london conference is about. it is important to understand the united nations will be there and is an integral part of the overall efforts in afghanistan. it helps us international and our troops appreciate the presence of the united nations. the united states -- scaores of
-- scores of our allies are there in one form or another. there are different guidelines coming from the national government. it is important to realize that there will be a number of countries after the london conference hoping for success. there is a reconciliation and reintegration process ongoing in afghanistan with former taliban moving back into society and moving that into being part of the afghan society. there is a real hope that japan has a particular interest in coming in with several hundred
million dollars to help with the reconciliation effort. i hope this is part of the success story of the london conference. >> do you think the united states in the international community should be holding the karzai government and head of the london conference? >> the london conference is -- i think we are walking arm and arin arm with the karzai administration. i mean we are of the same mind. that ought to be a part of something in the near future. we are canoe during -- we are coordinating with that administration. i do know that he wanted to follow the constitution and want
to give the afghan people an opportunity to vote and to have an accurate vote count. >> you said in afghanistan where in a good position to win. [inaudible] >> yes, i think we are. this is a press conference about afghanistan and pakistan, but yes, politically, it is a wonderful thing about our system. we have an opportunity to vote every two years to. they have an opportunity to express their opinion about this administration. >> you said it sounded like you had to convince the pakistan people that it was in their interest not to have the taliban. they have a history of helping the taliban. did you